It is becoming increasingly common for lawyers to discuss or recommend to clients to have two wills prepared if the testator has a substantial investment in one or more private companies .
This plan involves having one will to govern the estate assets that require probate and a second will to govern those estate assets that do not require probate. The customary objective is to achieve a significant savings in Estate Administration Tax.
Usually the will that governs the assets requiring probate is called the “Primary Will” and is signed first, and the will that governs the assets that don’t require probate is called the “Secondary Will” and is signed immediately afterwards.
Assets that can usually be dealt with without the necessity of a formal grant of probate by the court include things like shares in a privately held corporation, partnership interests, beneficial interests in a trust, unsecured debts, and household goods and personal effects except for those that are specifically dealt with under the primary will.
Sometimes even real property can be transferred without probate.
Today, more couples are choosing to live together in a relationship resembling marriage, without the formalities of marriage. There are many different reasons why a couple may choose not to get married; however, just as choosing to get married has legal implications, so does choosing not to get married. One of the most notable legal implications of not getting married relates to the division of property when the relationship breaks down. So, if you make the decision not to get married, do you really know what you are (not) buying into?
Division of Property for Unmarried Couples
Division of property is dealt with in Part I of the Family Law Act. When married couples separate, generally speaking they are entitled to divide their property equally between the two spouses, regardless of who legally owns the property. Under the Family Law Act, “spouses” are entitled to divide their property on the breakdown of the marriage. “Spouse” is defined as either (1) two people who are married to each other, or, (2) two people who entered